Diploma of Interior Design & Decoration


  • Get qualified to work as an Interior Designer with a Diploma of Interior Design & Decoration (MSF50213)
  • Flexibility of studying on campus, online, or via blended learning
  • Delivered by the award-winning CATC Design School

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At a glance

Study mode



CATC Design School (RTO 0269)
Career Opportunities

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.
Recognised by the Design Institute of Australia.


Year 12 or successful completion of a Language Literacy & Numeracy (LLN) test.


NSW - Sydney

QLD - Brisbane

VIC - Melbourne


Course length
Full time: 1 year blended mode or online | Part time: 2 years blended mode or online
Study mode




Study from anywhere, when it suits you best and graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.


Study part of the course online. Combine your online learning with classes or practical sessions on-campus at a college or university.


Attend classes on-campus at a university, TAFE or college and interact face-to-face with teachers and fellow students.

Written & practical assignments, competency-based assessments
Start date

Six start dates per year.

CATC Design School (RTO 0269)

CATC Design School produces skilled designers who are ready to work.

Their courses in photography, graphic design and interior design are highly regarded in the design industry. The specialist college is well known for delivering award-winning graduates with the right skills.

CATC’s flexible study options mean you can finish your course more quickly than you would studying a similar course at a university - and step into your design career sooner.

Think: Colleges Pty Ltd (RTO 0269) trading as CATC Design School


The course price can vary depending on a few factors, including whether you are an Australian resident or your chosen payment option. To find out more, contact the course provider.

What you'll learn

Become trained in:

  • Building theory
  • Problem-solving design
  • Presentation sketches
  • Colour theory
  • Construction technology and working drawings
  • Drafting and building practices
  • Visualising, presenting and documenting design solutions

Resources required:

  • Autodesk AutoCAD 
  • SketchUp 
  • Artlantis

The above software is available for free, as student versions. 

Course structure

14 units


  1. CAD Models & Documentation

    Using industry-standard CAD software, you'll design and render 3D CAD models that meet the requirements of a design brief. Determine the project requirements, use the CAD application to produce a 3D model and the associated 2D documentation, set up 3D views of the model and render the model for presentation.

    Unit of competency:
    MSFID5014 - Use CAD applications to complete models and documentation for interior design projects

  2. Colour & Lighting

    Colour psychology and the manipulation of spatial illusion through colour are explored in this unit, where you'll learn how to create colour schemes with technical integrity. The interpretation of lighting requirements for a design brief is covered, as well as the environmental impact of various forms of lighting, both natural and artificial. You'll also learn how to present a lighting layout for an interior space.

    Units of competency:
    MSFID4001-Research, analyse and apply colour for interior spaces
    MSFID4008 - Assess interior light and recommend light fittings

  3. Commercial Design

    Within a commercial context, you'll learn how to analyse the project brief, conduct project research, generate decorative themes and concepts, select and specify internal finishes, furniture, furnishings and lighting. Present a fully resolved scheme and evaluate the client response.

    Unit of competency:
    MSFID5002 - Develop a decoration proposal for a complex site

  4. Construction & CAD

    Knowledge of structural components and systems will help you learn how to interpret plans and specifications for interior projects. This unit introduces industry-standard CAD software and its application, so you'll learn how to set up CAD drawings, create and edit drawings, add text and dimensions, and finalise documentation.

    Units of competency:
    MSFID4007 - Identify materials, construction techniques and methods used in building
    CUVACD302A - Produce computer-aided drawings

  5. Design drawing

    Develop and refine a range of techniques to produce technical and concept drawings. Using both analogue and digital techniques, you'll explore the way drawing is applied to interior design and decoration. You will learn how to produce floor plans, elevations, sections, isometric and axonometric drawings, as well as what "axonometric" means.

    Units of competency:
    CUVACD303A - Produce technical drawings
    MSFDN4001 - Produce drawings from design concepts

  6. Design Process 2

    This unit explores the process of design development in three-dimensional forms. By producing a range of concept realisations, you'll be able to demonstrate the creative application of design processes to 3D work. The unit includes concept realisations and design development for a number of design projects.

    Units of competency:
    BSBDES303A - Explore and apply the creative design process to 3D forms
    MSFID4011 - Determine work health and safety (WHS) implications of interior effect

  7. Design Process 3

    Building on what you've already learned, this unit expands your knowledge of the design process in relation to interior design, focusing on the design of commercial interior spaces and the complex processes involved. Discover how to develop and refine a design brief, as well as negotiate terms and conditions. Creative thinking skills are developed to generate a range of innovative concepts and ideas.

    Units of competency:
    BSBDES502A - Establish, negotiate and refine a design brief
    BSBCRT501A - Originate and develop concepts

  8. Furniture & Architectural Styles

    Contemporary interior design is the product of centuries of history. Research a range of architectural and furniture styles, with an emphasis on the analysis of design elements and principles in both architectural form and furniture. You'll learn how historical architectural and furniture styles influence current interior and furniture design, then document and present your research findings.

    Units of competency:
    MSFID4009 - Research architectural styles and movements
    MSFFDT4012 - Research furniture styles and movements
    MEM16006A - Organise and communicate information

  9. Graphic Communication

    An introduction to drawing and visualisation in the context of interior design and decoration, this unit sees you exploring a range of techniques to communicate design concepts. Analogue and digital methods of drawing are explored, from pencil to stylus.

    Units of competency:
    CUVACD301A - Produce drawings to communicate ideas
    CUFDIG303A - Produce and prepare photo images

  10. Interior Built Environment

    Bring skills and experience learned in the interior design diploma course to an interior design and decoration brief. You'll learn how to manipulate 3D interior design to affect spatial experience, applying the elements and principles of design. Before you know it, you'll be carrying out project evaluations, taking into account the structural elements and the construction aspects of a design. Liaise with specialist professionals and prepare design documentation for a commercial project.

    Units of competency:
    MSFID5003 - Evaluate site for interior design brief
    MSFID5005 - Explore and apply creative design methodology to interior space

  11. Materials & Finishes

    In this unit you'll learn how to identify the different types and features of hard materials to suit the requirements of a project. Carry out research on various hard materials and finishes, then document recommendations for clients. You'll further your knowledge of Australian Standards, and regulations and codes. The sustainability of a design is assessed, showing you how to apply resources sustainably.

    Units of competency:
    MSFID4006 - Research and recommend hard materials and finishes for interiors
    MSS015002A - Develop strategies for more sustainable use of resources

  12. Product knowledge

    Furniture, soft furnishings and accessories for interior spaces - they're the core of this unit, which teaches you how to interpret the decoration requirements from a project brief, research furniture and accessories, then make appropriate recommendations to the client. You'll also find out how to assess soft furnishing requirements, research soft furnishing materials, window treatments and soft floor coverings. Finally, the unit covers the Australian Standards for documentation and presentation of decorative recommendations.

    Units of competency:
    MSFID4004 - Research and recommend furniture and accessories
    MSFID4005 - Research and recommend soft furnishings for interiors

  13. Professional Practice

    It's time to develop your own voice! Explore and experiment with new ideas in making and/or interpreting work, developing conceptual skills and ideas, evaluating your own work and researching work opportunities. Gain knowledge of the design industry, design as a profession and the relationship between design and other industries. Finally, you'll take that industry knowledge and make plans for acquiring and maintaining currency in the future. (Currency meaning both "relevance" and "money" in this case.)

    Units of competency:
    BSBDES403A - Develop and extend design skills and practice
    BSBDES304A - Source and apply design industry knowledge

  14. Residential Decoration

    Everyone has their own ideas on how their home should look, and this unit helps you develop decorating schemes for residential interiors in accordance with project briefs. Learn how to analyse a design brief, conduct research and generate decoration ideas to create a visual experience in a defined interior space. Select materials and finishes for surface decoration and arrange objects and elements within a space. This unit is also an introduction to anthropometrics and ergonomics.

    Unit of competency:
    MSFID4002 - Decorate residential interiors

Support and delivery

Studying with CATC Design School

Studying online explained

When you study online with CATC Design School, you can:

  • Study from anywhere, when it suits you best.
  • Graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.
  • Get comprehensive support from teachers via phone and email.
  • Access course materials online.
  • Interact with teachers and fellow students via platforms like virtual classrooms, forums and video calls.

If you study online, you’re welcome to visit your closest campus and meet with tutors for one-on-one assistance.

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